Argentina is a democratic republic; it is divided into 23 provinces and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, where the Federal Government is established. The President is elected every four years.
In Argentina, there are 43 million inhabitants, a third of whom live in Buenos Aires City and its suburbs. Buenos Aires Province is the most important province in terms of population and economic activity, followed by Cordoba, Santa Fe, and the City of Buenos Aires. This city has a population of 3 million people in 200 km².
Spanish is the official language and around 80% of the population is catholic.
Argentina has traditionally based its economic structure on the magnificent natural resources it has in many areas of the country, and a highly qualified manpower.
Its ‘agro’ products have been for many decades been the sole source of its export policy and the mainstay of the economy. Fishing, forestry and mining, and agriculture and livestock represent more than 12% of the GDP. Industry has become increasingly important since World War II, and currently represents over 18% of the GDP. Major manufacturing industries include agro-industries and food processing, automobiles and trucks, chemicals, machinery and equipment, metallurgy (including steel and aluminum), petrochemicals, paper, cellulose, and textiles. Since 2002, the industrial sector has had, in the areas of exports and substitution of imports, a significant opportunity to regain both activity and profitability levels. Also, it is important to include activities like Commerce, Hotels, and Restaurants, and Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, that represent 13,5 % and 15% of the GDP respectively. The GPD total is estimated as USD 964 billion (2015).
The official currency is the Argentine Peso and the reference currency is the US dollar.
The main commercial ports are Buenos Aires, Bahía Blanca, Quequén, Rosario and Paraná. Over 90% of the Argentine foreign trade is carried out by sea. But the Argentine ports have some disadvantages: high taxes, low depth, and limited infrastructure. There is no deep-water port, except for Madryn, which is outside of the commercial area.
Railways have developed in the last decades by through private companies, and freeways and routes by private companies and the government.
There has been a great advance in digital communication networks, that allows communication with the rest of the world at high speed.
From 2015, the country has started a plan to develop railroads for short and middledistance transportation. Likewise, from 2016, the new administration is opening airplane routes to “low cost” companies.